Kevin DeYoung did a post, tongue in check I think, about what sermon preparation looks like. There is much truth in there as pastors deal with distractions, important interruptions and family issues as they prepare their sermons. Yes, our life is like yours. We don’t live in ivory towers untainted by the mundane matters of life.
Here is what my schedule looks like without the interruptions and lunch appointments (and times of prayer).
Monday am: Glad I don’t have the day off to turn the sermon over in my head all day. I hate how much of a perfectionist I can be. I work on the liturgy for the next worship service. I may work on SS lessons and some administrative stuff.
Monday pm: I have to head home to watch the kids. While they “rest” I read and study. Right now I’m finishing up a series on Revelation I will teach beginning in the Fall. I’ll prepare for community group or Men’s ministry as well.
Tuesday am: This school year, I spent the mornings teaching CavGirl. I can’t wait to have those mornings back!
Tuesday pm: I work through the text in the original language, focusing on key words and grammar. I’ll work through the text on the whiteboard looking for patterns and themes. I will sit and think about the text: what does it say, not say, mean etc. I’ll write down some observations. I’ll try to think about why the author wrote this to the original audience, and how does the life and ministry of Christ matter. Depending on how long this takes, I might start reading some commentaries.
Wednesday am: Working with commentaries and some other books that address themes and topics found in the text. I jot down important thoughts and pertinent quotes. I trace down connections with other biblical texts.
Wednesday pm: Wrapping up my reading, I hope. On a good week I’ll start working on my Big Idea and Main Points. This can be harder than it sounds.
Thursday am: Begin to work the outline, picking out key phrases to include in the notes. Hopefully I’ll fill it out. When done, I’ll transform it into an outline w/quotes for the Order of Worship. Hopefully I’ll have some good illustrations.
Thursday pm: I might still be working on that.
Friday & Saturday: Days off (there may be ministry obligations). I will continue to let the text and material “percolate” in my head and heart. I’ll often think of illustrations and improvements. I’ll note these if necessary.
Sunday am: I go into the office early to work through the outline and do the final edit. I’ll make changes and additions based on my percolation. Then go walk the tightrope.